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Alaska Permanent Fund re-ups on seed start-up, valuing company at $1.4bn

The sovereign wealth fund, along with Flagship Pioneering and two new investors, have allowed Indigo to close on an extra $156m in fresh capital.

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The sovereign wealth fund, along with Flagship Pioneering and two new investors, have allowed Indigo to close on an extra $156m in fresh capital.

Indigo Ag, a four-year-old start-up, has hit a first close on its Series D funding round that brings the total amount it has collected since inception to $312 million.

The Boston-based sustainable seed business has raised an extra $156 million that it says values it at $1.4 billion, making it a rare unicorn in the world of agtech.

The fresh funds were provided by UK-based investment manager Baillie Gifford and Connecticut-based growth capital firm Activant Capital, in addition to pledges by existing investors Flagship Pioneering and Alaska Permanent Fund.

Indigo combines data analytics software with microbial treatment to produce seeds that require less inputs and produce higher-yielding crops that can be sold at a higher price by farmers, thereby boosting the latter’s profits. It currently focuses on cotton, wheat, rice, corn and soybeans.

The capital raised during the Series D is earmarked for investment in plant microbiome research, development of software and data tools, and commercial expansion, Indigo said.

The fundraise comes after Flagship Pioneering seeded Cibo Technologies, another sustainable ag start-up, with $30 million in March. Baillie Gifford earlier this month also helped fund the $100 million series A of a joint venture between Bayer and Gingko Bioworks focused on microbial fertilizers.